‘An artist’s job is to be a witness to his time in history’
Using photographic and painted imagery from London and northern Europe, my practice focuses on the derelict and intriguing beauty hidden within declining urban wastelands. Snapshots of once functional and worthwhile structures left to the mercy of the elements. Here, graffiti adds personal, social and political commentary and gives evidence of unspoken conversations between artists. These areas, once vibrant and full of life, are now sad and empty but still give poignant proof of the presence and then absence of a human existence. Capturing these images on film is not without risk. My Come with me series of oil paintings invites the viewer to trespass with the artist. Such wastelands are usually blocked off, with boarded up unwelcoming structures littered with human refuse. Smithson’s entropy is clearly evident here, as the land slowly envelops its prey over the passage of time. A slow but inevitable deterioration of a community to the point of total disarray. This shift in value from purposeful to dysfunctional to finally historical provides rich, aesthetic material for the intruding artist. As a witness to this decline, my practice provides a document to a moment in time. A period soon to be lost forever as these areas are demolished, cleared and rebuilt heralding the start of a new life-cycle.